Cheerful Service

One of our favorite aspects to Venturing are the opportunities created to give back to our community.  The last week in September afforded us two opportunities of service.  Both service projects benefited important organizations positively impacting the Chillicothe area.

Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac

Friday evening brought us to the 2nd Annual Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac Fundraiser.  Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac provides sack lunches to the students of Illinois Valley Central School District who otherwise would go hungry during the weekend.  We played a handful of roles at the fundraiser.  A few of us bused tables and refilled patrons’ drinks while others of us took turns serving the meal and informing the kitchen of what needed refilled.

Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac

It’s always nice being the kitchen help, you get fed well!  To have the opportunity to serve the Weekend Snackpac program is really more of a blessing to the members of the crew than it is to the program.  There is such a large need not only in Chillicothe but throughout the country.  Children go hungry on the weekends but with the assistance of the Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac program fewer children are feeling the pangs of hunger.

Illinois River Sweep

The morning started a little dreary but soon the Saturday sun made an appearance at the Chillicothe River Sweep. We met other Chillicotheans at Cutright Park to patrol the beaches for trash and unwanted debris.  Crew 91 partnered up for the morning with members of Troop 91.  We combed the beaches and parks and were rewarded with bags and bags of trash. The highlight of of patroling would probably be the baby snapping turtle we found or the discarded headless cement swan.

Illinois River Sweep

There are endless opportunities to volunteer and serve in your local community.  For ideas contact your local food pantry, chamber of commerce, school district or pet shelter.  There’s no need to be bored when there are countless ways to lend a hand, a shovel or a smile.  Happy serving!

Illinois River Sweep

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Hike On {Part 2}

Hiking with a 40-45lb pack can be exhausting.  After the ill fated game of Uno in the boy’s tent naps were had by almost everyone.  Jared and Ashley started dinner and then another bout of rain had us scurrying under the dinning fly.  While in transit the first of three hail storms came upon us.  This hail wasn’t tiny!  But what’s a good camping story without a little hail!  After clopping through the mud to hang up bear bags it was off to bed.

Venture Crew 91

We gave ourselves a little break and broke camp around 7am to head to Baldy Skyline for our conservation project.  The views on the way to Baldy Skyline were pretty fabulous.  We caught a glimpse or two Mt. Baldy, the highest peak at Philmont.  Tanner busted out his sketch book and took down a few notes for future sketches.  Trevor wished he had his sketch book but whipped out his iPod to snap a few breathtaking pics instead.

 

View of Mt. Baldy

View of Mt. Baldy

By now we’re used to the afternoon rain but hoping it holds off for us to complete our conservation project.  The fellas at Baldy Skyline put on quite the informational show.  Tanner volunteered to be their accident prone scouter and demonstrated how to wear all the PPE required for the project.  We threw rocks and logs and trees and branches for three hours to help in the completion of the Baldy Skyline trail to Ewells Park.  It was a cacophony of voices bellowing “Rock, Tree, Twig, Log” every time something was lofted into the air.  Beware, don’t stand downrange of a rocks, trees, twigs and logs being thrown in your general direction.  Thank goodness for hardhats and sturdy trees!

 

After a short 10 minute walk from Baldy Skyline to Ewells Park we made camp.  Everyone was super excited to be setting up camp in the same spot for two whole nights!  Everything was wet from the night before, including Megan’s sleeping bag.  We thought we’d catch the sun while we could, set up camp and hunker in for the afternoon.  Ross and Tanner made their way to the Red Roof Inn while the rest of us started setting up camp.  It wasn’t too much later when we hear these perturbed cries from the woods.  Tanner and Ross somehow managed to toss the toilet paper out of reach and needed to be rescued.  Jared could have let them suffer but they were disturbing the wildlife.  We just held it over their heads when we needed a good laugh.

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It’s Not Cold…

When we told our friends, family and co-workers we were going to go camping this past weekend we received the, “Are you crazy?” look.  You know the one.  It’s the look where one eyebrow raises, the mouth gapes open and a slight gasp for air follows.  Here in good ol’ Chillicothe, Illinois we are having all kinds of fun in the extreme cold.

The Camp Wokanda Face

The Camp Wokanda Face

But a subzero temperatures were not going to keep us from our annual cabin camping at Camp Wokanda.  There it is, the key word, cabin.  We don’t mind the cold but we’re not completely off our rockers!

Wash your dishes with a sock?

Wash your dishes with a sock?

The weekend was laid back and easy.  We snuggled in Friday night for chili, snacks, games and a movie.  A new member joined us for her first campout with the crew and here’s hoping we didn’t scare her away.  Sleeping did not even require the sleeping bag!

Service & Fun

Service & Fun

No need to get out into the frigid weather too early on a Saturday morning so we had a late start to breakfast.  Made our way to a little service project clearing felled trees and took a break to sled.  It’s slightly tricky to avoid trees, stumps and people.  We managed to survive and get back in time for lunch and the remainder of the service project.

Never a dull moment

Never a dull moment

Nothing too exciting but the weather was brisk, new friendships were made and most importantly we presented a crew member with the rank of Life Scout.  Times are always good when spent among friends, especially while ‘camping’ at Camp Wokanda.

Our new Life Scout!

Our new Life Scout!

Coming Up

This weekend we are finally getting a chance to camp!  The spring has been especially wet and it’s not supposed to rain so hopefully we’ll be in business.  We’ll be spending the weekend at our council camp, Ingersoll Scout Reservation.

Ingersoll Scout Reservation

The weather should be perfect for fishing, exploring and doing a little service project or two.  Last year we made some friends with the local turtles and fried up some delicious fish for Saturday’s dinner.

Should be quite the relaxing weekend!

Cache Lake Kodiak Challenge

A couple of us were a part of a council Venturing contingency that spent a week in Ontario, Canada at Cache Lake Camp.  Cache Lake is a W.D. Boyce Council camp in Canada and what a wonderful place to spend a week!  The trip up to Canada was quite the adventure!  For the first couple of  hours we had five people in our little Toyota Avalon.  We were barely in the car 30 minutes when the CD player broke, we stopped at a bazillion rest stops and Amariah and I took our sack lunches into Culver’s!!!  We stopped at a super neat place in Wisconsin full of animals,  an indoor waterfall and crazy fun hats.

oh the many faces

We spent the evening at L.E. Philips Scout Reservation in their very nice winter cabins.  The day was incredibly hot but we were able to go swimming and then enjoy a relaxing evening making survival bracelets, eating pizza and playing ultimate frisbee.  Very early in the morning we hit the last leg of trip and made our way to Handberg’s.  The two hour trip via boat from Minnesota to Cache Lake was gorgeous.  The lake was beautiful and we didn’t really get wet at all.  The Canadian customs people were super nice and then we rolled, okay, boated right into Bach Bay.

Oh Gregory!

We spent a wonderful week, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, cliff jumping, hiking, catamaraning, snarking, tubing and king of the docking.  Between all the fun we had a leadership lesson a day and a special activity.  We climbed French Mountain and let’s just say that was an adventure!  All 26 of us went hiking in an unknown direction, Amariah and I entertaining people or rather annoying everyone with our endless singing.  We ate wild blueberries, we found a nice set of antlers and only a couple of us slid down the rocks!  The view from the top was breathtaking.  We could have spent the entire afternoon up there and still we would not have been able to capture the beauty of the scenery.

The most exciting adventures were most definitely the cliff jumping, dock wars and tubing.  A little group of us started the initial jumping from Whale Rock right outside the Bach’s Bay.  We had a most amazing time and were all smiles as we left the rock and headed back for dinner.  So many of us had a a great time we decided to find a larger drop up the narrows a few days later.  The whole group went the next time around and it was absolutely glorious!  Amariah, Holden and Greg were quite the trio.  It didn’t take very long for the boys to decide to toss Amariah off the dock on the count of three.  It took a split second after that for all three of them to end up in the lake, fully clothed and back at it over and over again.  They were the first three to take the tube out on our little 25-horse motorboat, the first to flip the tube and the first to say let’s do that again!

 

Westward Ho!

Excitement is in the air!  This afternoon we have officially decided to spend next summer in a westward adventure!  The plans are only just beginning but we know there are few places we most definitely will be going.  Mount Rushmore is a must see and will be amazing.  Stopping in to see the Rockies for sure.  We’d like to go whitewater rafting maybe in Colorado.  And everyone agrees camping in the Grand Canyon is an absolute must!!!  There will more than likely be other places along the way.  There will definitely be plenty of opportunities for service projects and conservation projects while we’re out and about.  We’ll keep you posted on our plans!  If you have any suggestions on places we should visit please let us know!

It Takes a Special Mother

There is something extra special about a Scouting mother.  From a very early age mothers are the ones who help us along our scouting path.  They make sure our uniforms are washed and we know where to find our handbooks as Tiger Cubs.  They go door to door to help us deliver the boxes upon boxes of Boy Scout popcorn we sold.  They sew a bazillion Merit Badges onto our sashes and ensure we get to weekly meetings on time.  They walk us through the process of completing our Eagle Projects.  They encourage us to broaden our horizons by hiking 127 miles in the mountains of Philmont and to face our fears of deep sea scuba diving.  They stand by us as we receive our Bronze and Gold Awards and are welcomed into the roles of Crew President and Crew Secretary.

Through every little step of our Scouting careers our mothers are there to see us grow in leadership, community service and civic duty.  Without our Scouting mothers we probably would have given up at the first challenge we faced.  But because of our mothers, we have succeeded and we have the stories and memories for proof.  Thank you, moms, for encouraging us and for giving us the extra boost of focus when we needed it the most.  Happy Mother’s Day.

From Tiger Cub to Venturer:
Thank you, Mom.